Exfoliating is something I find myself talking about ALOT (clearly I need to get out more…!) but it’s an area of skincare and grooming that I feel lots of us guys neglect. Exfoliation is essentially the scrubbing of your skin with a wash or rub to get rid of impurities and dead skin cells and it’s a really important part of any decent skincare regime, especially during the Winter months.
As the temperature drops and weather conditions take a turn, the skin on our face takes an absolute battering. There’s nothing major you can do aside from spending your days hibernating away from the cold, but there are a few small changes you can make to your routine that will help your skin fight back. Adding in an ‘exfoliating’ step will be game changing and the results will be fast.
On average guys should exfoliate 2-3 times a week, but I would suggest changing up the products to suit the level of exfoliation you are looking for. I personally tend to use an exfoliator of sorts most mornings, a harsher more granular product pre-shaving or an exfoliating cleanser with much smaller granules if I’m just looking for a skin refresh.
So chaps… here are 5 key reasons to ‘rejig’ your morning skincare routine and start buffing your face:
1. Game Changing Pre-Shave:
When it comes to shaving, the preparation is just as important as the shave itself and those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail! (proper cliche!) Adding a decent scrub to your toolbox will help you take your morning shave to the next level and ensure you get the most efficient shave possible.
Using a scrub before shaving will lifts hairs and raise any ingrowing hairs, making shaving much more efficient and essentially easier. Removing loose hairs and dead skin before shaving will also limit ‘blade clogging’, your razor can become clogged with build up and thus less effective.
I find it particularly important to exfoliate around the upper neck area before shaving where ingrowing hairs and spots can often occur. Exfoliating here will help minimise blemishes and make shaving in this area more straightforward.
The Cornerstone Pre-Shave Scrub is a great option for those of you that wet shave and that tend to shave most mornings. It combines cedar wood and volcanic sand to ensure you remove all the grits and bits that can create issues when shaving.
2. Cleans Away Oil & Grime:
A cleanser does the job Monday to Friday, but often your skin is screaming out for something a little more hardcore. There are times you’ll need to up your game and reach for a product that will deeply cleanse your pores; particularly after working up a sweat in the gym or out on the rugby field.
Clogged pores are a nightmare and can create blemishes and are ultimately the catalyst for full blown acne. This is where a scrub & cleanser combo comes in and this bad boy from Bull Dog Skincare is the ideal warrior in the battle against clogged pores.
I like to keep this chap in my gym bag or rugby bag for that after workout scrub and to keep those blemishes at bay.
3. Removes Dead Skin Cells:
There’s nothing that encourages spots more than dead skin and although it may sound pretty grim, dead skin can really build up on the surface, especially when it’s cold in the air. If left untouched, dead skin can essentially ‘rot’ (pretty minging!) on your face and create all manner of problems. How do I stop this happening I hear you ask? Grab a decent exfoliating cleanser and gently scrub the dead skin cells away.
This will not only help reduce spots on your skin’s surface but aid renewal underneath, leaving you with brighter and healthier looking skin!
My ‘go-to’ scrub cleanser is from Clarins Men and combines granules with a gel cleanser, making this the perfect all rounder and ideal candidate for refreshing that complexion.
4. Shields Against Ageing:
Not only does exfoliating help remove impurities but it can also aid with blood circulation and consequently help you achieve ‘glowing’ skin and long term aid skin renewal which is particularly important as we get older and our skin starts to age.
Using an exfoliator regularly will help speed up the skins renewal process and this can protect against those dreaded wrinkles. It’s pretty straightforward stuff, the faster the skin can renew and ‘grow back’, the chance of wrinkles and fine lines appearing is reduced. Coupled with a decent moisturiser and overall skincare regime you can drastically slow down the process of your skin ageing and stay looking youthful and fresh for as long as possible (!)
This fella from Kiehl’s is part of the Age Defender range and combines Morroccan lava clay with phytic acid, essentially two ingredients to remove the tougher layer of dead skin cells and really aid skin renewal and cell regeneration.
5. Exfoliate To Stop Pores Growing:
While you can’t ‘shrink’ your pores, crucially you can stop them from getting any bigger. Pores can seem to get much bigger as we get older, that’s because, skin ‘builds-up’ in our pores. The more dead skin sat in your pores, the bigger they will get and look. Dead skin not only helps pores to grow, but also makes them MUCH more visible. Once skin is dead, it ‘festers’, gets sticky with your skins oils and attracts any and ALL dirt. This is the culprit of black heads.
Exfoliation is your pores best bud and this scrub and mask from St.Ives is a fantastic multi-tasker to help you win the battle against growing pores.
In addition to all the above, exfoliating regularly will help your skin better absorb moisturisers and serums and this will ensure they have the maximum impact when applied and worn.
One word of warning here, if redness or soreness occurs, you’ve over done things. I would always suggest trialling things out as everyone’s skin is different and can react in different ways. Be sure to use gentle, circular motions when using any of these products and don’t ‘over scrub’ your skin.
So fellas.. incorporate a face scrub into your skincare regime this season and sit back and enjoy the benefits!
What are your favourite products for the colder months?
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